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Gaetz, Greene bringing America First tour to Arizona

By: - May 14, 2021 2:06 pm

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia. Photos by U.S. House of Representatives.

Two of the most controversial Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are coming to Arizona as part of their nationwide, pro-Trump “America First” tour.

U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, will hold a rally on May 21 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott in Mesa. Gaetz tweeted the details on Thursday and urged supporters, “Join us in Arizona!”

The rally in Mesa is part of a larger tour the two Republican representatives launched earlier this month. On May 8, they kicked off their tour at a retirement community northwest of Orlando, touting Donald Trump as the legitimate president of the United States and promoting false conspiracy theories that the election was rigged against him. 

At the event at The Villages, Greene asked the crowd who their president was, to which the audience enthusiastically responded, “Donald Trump.” When she asked the crowd if they believed that President Joe Biden won the election, the answer was a resounding, “No!”

Gaetz and Greene have both been lightning rods for controversy in recent months, for their support for the “big lie” that Biden won the election through fraud, for their combative and confrontational brand of right-wing politics, and, in Gaetz’s case, for an investigation into allegations that he trafficked teenage girls across state lines for sex.

An associate of Gaetz, former Seminole County, Florida, tax collector Joel Greenberg, had pleaded not guilty to several charges, including wire fraud and sex trafficking of a minor, but has since agreed to plead guilty to six charges, including sex trafficking of a minor, and to cooperate with with federal prosecutors. 

Greene was first elected to Congress in November, and quickly made a name for herself for controversial and outlandish statements. In addition to the baseless claims that Trump was denied a second term through election fraud, she’s expressed support for the bizarre QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Democratic politicians and others are part of a Satanic child sex trafficking ring. She also alleged that a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, was faked.

On Friday, a video surfaced of a 2019 incident in which Greene visited the office of progressive Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, taunting and haranguing her through a mail slot in her office door. On Wednesday, Greene angrily confronted Ocasio-Cortez and falsely claimed that she was supporting terrorist groups.

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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”